Best Local: Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

Luck of the Irish not needed for a stellar St. Paddy’s

Didn’t you know? Saint Patrick was quite the party animal. Well, maybe not, but we’re not in any hurry to find out why March 17th has turned into such a widespread celebratory affair. Whether your ancestry traces back to Ireland or not, Chicago has no shortage of ways to give you green fever (and no, they’re not all pubs and bars).

If You’re Staying At 400 N. LaSalle:
For more than 40 years Chicago has made a tradition out of turning the Chicago River into what looks like liquid lime Jell-O. Stake out a spot at 10a.m. on Saturday, Mar. 17 to watch the river begin its yearly green transformation. Don’t worry, the formula is completely eco-friendly.

Get There: Walk south down N. LaSalle Blvd. until you hit the Chicago River. Pick a spot anywhere with a nice view of the water. Commute Time: 5 minutes

If You’re Staying At Lincoln at the Parks in Naperville:
When you think Irish, it’s likely your brain’s first stop is Irish pub. There’s nothing wrong with skipping out on green shamrock t-shirts, plastic leprechaun hats and early morning parades. Throw back a couple and kick back in the homey, authentic décor at Quigley’s Irish Pub in Naperville. Take advantage of the beautiful weather and claim an outdoor table. Sunshine, roast beef and a tall brew? Cheers to that.

Get There: Drive south down N. Washington St. and take a left onto E. Jefferson Ave. Commute Time: 7 minutes

If You’re Staying At Presidential Towers:
Another classic celebration is Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, about to kick off for the 57th time. Get a spot along the action and kick back as the parade marches by starting at noon on Saturday.

Get There: Catch the 20 Bus toward Michigan at Washington and Jefferson. Get off at Washington and Wabash and walk right down S. Michigan Ave. Turn left onto E. Monroe St. Once you get to S. Columbus Dr., pick a spot anywhere between E. Monroe St. and E. Balbo Ave. Commute Time: 20 minutes

If You’re Staying At Columbus Plaza:
If you’re less of the beer-binging type and more of the gym-frequenting type, lace up those sneakers for the Shamrock Shuffle. Sponsored by Bank of America, the annual 8K race winds around Grant Park and through the Loop. You still have time to register for the March 25th run.

Get There: Take the 6 Bus toward 79th/South Shore at Upper Wacker and Columbus. Get off at Balbo and Columbus and walk into Grant Park. Commute Time: 20 minutes

If You’re Staying At The Iroquois Club in Naperville:
The party extends past city limits. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Naperville is a worthy family-friendly, Irish celebration. The West Suburban Irish presents this annual 10 a.m. fest in honor of all things Ireland.

Get There: Head east on Iroquois Ave. and turn right onto E. Ogden Ave. Turn left onto Mill St. Commute Time: 6 minutes

We’re all Irish this time of year. How can you not be? In Chicago, it’s easy being green. We can’t promise you’ll find a pot o’gold this St. Patrick’s Day, but we think finding a stacked roast beef sandwich with cabbage is comparable enough.